WebRTC Demo: How to Explain WebRTC to People

October 2, 2014

Explaining WebRTC to people should be simple. But it isn’t.

I used to start off my seminars and workshops by explaining WebRTC. Got a whole agenda about WebRTC, with the beginning chapter being “What is (and isn’t) WebRTC?”

Crowd

After a couple of times with it, I understood something – people are lazy. They go to a conference with WebRTC in the title of the conference. Or go to a training paid by their company that is called “WebRTC”. But they fail to do one simple step – Google WebRTC and try it out for themselves.

This understanding got me to start off with a raise of hands question in workshops.

I start by asking “who used WebRTC?”

Then continue by asking “who used WebRTC for more than 1 minutes?”

I finish off with “who used WebRTC for a business and personal need as opposed to just see what it is?”

Most will fail the first question. Most won’t pass the last one.

The people in these workshops? A lot of them decide if and how to use WebRTC within their products and services. TRY IT OUT.

So here, for your amusement are a few “WebRTC Demo” services to use. Skip the boring apprtc one – there are better options out there.

Notice the way each is compartmentalized in my mind and the reasons for using it or ditching it. Might give you some additional sense of the variety that is possible with WebRTC.

Talky.io

My current preferred method of chatting online with people.

  • Uses vanity URLs which are open for everyone and cannot be reserved (as far as I know)
  • Requires no login whatsoever
  • Clean
  • Allows my to blow up a rocket ship while waiting for people who are late to the party…
  • Has an iOS app

Tawk.com

My previously preferred method.

  • Uses vanity URLs which can be locked. I have tsahil taken there
  • I stopped using it because I forgot my password more than once
  • Love the chairs and the sea in the background

appear.in

This one is interesting and important because it is being developed by Telenor – a carrier. Not something you’d expect.

  • Uses vanity URLs
  • Some like it and use it. I don’t like the design of their service so much, or more accurately – I just prefer Talky
  • Has an iOS app

vline.com

Interesting because the UI is different than the usual stuff, and while the rest are usually meshing the video, this one uses routing.

  • Generates ad-hoc conferencing URLs as a WebRTC demo for their service capabilities
  • Have been way too quiet this past year

openVRI.com

Love this one for the story behind it.

  • Generates ad-hoc conferencing URLs
  • Built by a single developer in-between jobs
  • Has a different text chat modal than most other solution due to the use case he targets (VRI market)
  • Code available on git

Why is it important?

If you need to demo WebRTC to someone – to show him what it is and how it works, then the above are the projects I’d suggest (assuming your focus is video capabilities).

All of these services have been developed by rather small teams in short periods of time. Yes, they got fleshed out through time and improved, but getting to the first release wasn’t a big undertaking compared to what it would take without WebRTC.

They are slightly different from one another, and different from the regular experience of an enterprise video conference.

They show the potential and richness that comes with WebRTC.


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  1. Great post, Tsahi. This is exactly why Temasys set up getaroom.io!

    It makes it much easier for anyone from developers to my grandfather (*not* a developer) to understand webRTC when they can engage with a simple, elegant and easy-to-use app.

    getaroom.io was initially built in less than a week and we just keep adding things to it to illustrate how we make webRTC-powered apps easy to build, deploy and use.

    getaroom.io compares to your other candidates as follows:

    – Generates random URL but you can also use a vanity URL
    – Works on Chrome for Android
    – On desktops, works on IE and Safari (with the Temasys WebRTC Plugin), Chrome and Firefox
    – Implements room locking, video and microphone muting
    – Code available on git

    More features coming soon.

  2. Nice to see how examples of WebRTC technology are growing. It seems that people is finding his own way creating and sharing their projects.

    I would like also add that we published the two days ago the code of loowid.com on github [1]. It can be used as example about WebRTC multiconferencing room and file transfer. I think it’s important have as many examples as we can to improve our own projects.

    Thanks, nice post.

    [1] http://github.com/loowid/loowid

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